tv Politics and Public Policy Today CSPAN June 28, 2016 3:00pm-5:01pm EDT
terrorism would have watched that individual very, very closely, to prevent the terror attack that he was giving signal after signal after signal was a real risk. orlando is not the only instance. over and over and over again, this administration has the warning signs, but because of political correctness, doesn't act on them, and the result is innocent americans are killed. now at this point, i would like to recognize mr. carlin and mr. steinbach, to provide their testimony. but they have refused to attend, so with that, i will invite the members of the second panel to, please, come forward. each of you will be worn in momentarily and while you're coming forward i will begin by introducing each of the members of the second panel. the first witness is dr. m.zudi jasser, the founder and
president of the american islamic forum for democracy in phoenix, arizona, a grad want of the university of wisconsin, milwaukee, and the medical college of wisconsin. dr. jasser is a former commissioner of the united states commission on international religious freedom and served as a medical officer in the united states navy. dr. jasser is currently in private practice in phoenix, specializing in internal medicine and nuclear cardiology. ms. farhan kara is the president and executive director of muslim advocates in oakland, california. graduate of wellsly college and cornell law school, she has previously served as counsel to the u.s. senate judiciary committee and worked as a litigation associate with several prom inept washington, d.c., law firms. mr. philip hainey a former customs and border protection officer in the department of homeland security. officer hainey completed several
tours at the national targeting center near washington, d.c., and he has won numerous awards and commendations for producing material that led to the identification of hundreds of terrorists. having retired in july 2015, mr. hainey now resides in marietta, georgia. mr. richard cohen is an attorney and the president of the southern poverty law center. graduate of columbia university and the university of virginia, school of law, mr. cohen has previously testified before the house committee on homeland security, and has served on the department of homeland security's countering violent extremism working group. mr. chris galbots is a businessman, activist and national security consultant, based in franklin county, virginia. he has spent nearly a decade researching the threat to america posed by radical islamic terrorism, and developing expertise on the network of public and private organizations that terror groups rely on for
support. mr. michael german is a fellow with the liberty and national security program at the brennan center for justice at new york university law school. graduate of wake forest university in northwestern university law school, mr. gherman previously worked as a special agent of the fbi. he has taught at the national defense university, the john j. college of criminal justice, and spent several years with the american civil liberties unions washington legislative office and mr. andrew mccarthy is a senior fellow at the national review institute and a contributing editor to "national review." a graduate of columbia and the new york law school, mr. mccarthy served as a federal prosecutor for 18 years in the united states attorneys office for the southern district of new york. he was the lead prosecutor in the terrorism case against the so-called blind sheikh and 11 others convicted in 1995 of inspiring to wage a war of urban
terrorism against the united states. mr. mccarthy is the author of several books on terrorism and national security. i would ask that each of you stand and raise your right hand. do awe firm that the testimony you're about to give before the committee will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you god? >> we do. >> you may be seated. and you are each sworn in and we will begin the testimony with dr. jasser. please be sure turn why are microphone on by pressing the button. [ inaudible ] is your microphone
turned on? there should be a red light. the microphone doesn't seem to be working, if we can, someone can try to address the technical issues. perhaps you can use the adjoining microphone if that one is working. thank you. >> thank you, chairman cruz and members of the subcommittee on oversight action agency for this very important hearing on willful blindness. i'm president of the islamic forum for democracy and based in phoenix, arizona and request my written statements be submitted for the record. >> without objection. >> i'm here today taking time away from my family, work, during this last week of our holiest month of ramadan, a time of fasting and deep atonement
because i could not feel more strongly that our current national and agency direction in combating islamist-inspired terrorism is deeply flawed and profoundly dangerous. as a devout muslim who loves my faith and loves my nation the deemphasis of radical islam is the greatest obstacle to both national horm know and national security. wholesale denial of the truth by many in our government and political establishment is not only dihonest, it infantalizes muslims while lying to the american people but it emboldens the extremists on both sides of this debate, because the radicals or their calderons of saudi arabia, iran end up speaking for islam. linking islamism to islam, hands islam to saudi arabia, to iran, to the egyptian sharia states, to pakistan, islam public of pakistan, they do not speak for muslims so when you speak about 1.6 billion muslims you're
actually handing the narrative to the regimes, not to the people of those governments. it empowers the oic, the organization of islamic cooperation, and its lobby to maintain their global form of petro islam as the only form of islam, and the oic lobby is the proverbial elephant in the room. if we are on the side of muslim dissidents, we would be on the side of having this debate. america was formed on a debate versus theocracy. i think we are adult enough to have this debate and do it functionally, without saying that we are having a debate in which we demonize 1.6 billion. i would tell you as a muslim in this month of ramadan that we demonize muslims by letting the islamists speak for our community. neither islam nor muslims are monolithic. it is counter to refuse to acknowledge the role of islam. majority of americans are smart enough to understand the house of islam has no problems is just as problematic as declaring that
islam and muslims are the problem. national security policy of refusing to say that islam currently has a problem is dangerous. this surrender which began just after 9/11 has chartered a course towards failure. it has hamstrung our homeland security heroes from addressing any of the most central islamist precursors of militant islamists. if the agency emphasized the center role of radical islam and its ideologies it would shift the aentire access of the agenc toward one to beginning to actually address, expose and engage the root cause of the theocratic strains of political islam or islamism, which would begin to make us safer. we can't both hold our homeland security accountable for precursors we tell them they can't engage because all they're looking at is violent extremism. the only way to right this deep misdirection is to shift the center of axis from countering violent ex-strichl to countering
violent islamism. you can't hold them accountable to the precursors unless we identify what it is. our american islamic forum for democracy was founded by the premise, terrorism, isis, al qaeda are symptoms of theocratic beliefs. we formed our organization to counter political islam and separate mosque and state just as the founding fathers fought against theocracy. in december, aifd convened and helped launch a diverse muslim reform movement that included over 15 organizations. it's a coalition of reformers in the u.s., canada and europe that is not partisan, very bipartisan, that includes feminists, those who believe in gay rights and all the issues of left to right but yet came together to reject political islam and if every one of them was here today they would tell you that the refusal to identify political islam as the root cause and the conveyor belt that creates radical islam is the greatest obstacle to the reforming the ideas that churn
out these militants. not one iota of work would be possible in an environment where government agencies at large are unwilling to engage muslim groups domestically and abroad on the diversity which i listed in my testimony. we should be able to have the maturity to engage what does uma many, what does wahabism, what does islamism mean, jihad, not to engage those terms is not only tis honest but it actually marginalizes the very muslims you want to and claim to respect. in fact the administration has not done so because of those who they engage in their advisory circles like -- marriotti from impact and the council on american-islamic relations which is not supposed to engage the government but yet does because of its influence and its connection to i would tell you the oic lobby in washington. as an american muslim who loves
my faith and country, i ask that any official and unofficial u.s. government moratorium on the use and understanding of the following terms i discussed be immediately lifted. any security apparatus unabler unwilling to connect the dots between non-violent and violent manifestation of these ideologies is leaving us bare and will continue to miss the signs of radicalization. ft.hood, boston marathon, chattanooga, spern and likely orlando will show that in every one of these cases it is abundantly obvious had security agencies honed in on the continuum of political islam, theocratic islam, support of the taliban, support of many of these other organizations, that ultimately they would have had these individuals on their radar, but they didn't because they're waiting for the final moment when they become violent. i want to end with some recommendations. we need to stop hiding behind offending the oic and their regimes which put muslims like
me in prisons every day across the middle east. we need to change to a center of countering violent islamism. the u.s. government and public discourse must include a broad spectrum of ideologically diverse voices in the muslim community and not just one apologetic voice that doesn't see a problem and is enabling the continued radicalization of our community. it is time to stop engaging muslim brotherhood legacy groups and government and media and recognize their misogynist anti-semitic and homophobic and problematic underbelly and underpinnings. we must at least recognize they are not the only voice for american muslims and we must make women's issues and freedom of contest a litmus test. these groups when pressed will fail. it's time to stop giving leadership over the opinions of muslims here in america that believe in our liberty and freedom. i ask that you open
investigation into care's radical ties and extensive foundations and poorly hidden branches of the muslim brotherhood legacy groups and you no longer fear offending us by using the terms that we use when we debate these issues within our own communities. those oppressed by islamism including mostly muslims depend on your honesty. homeland security depends on your honesty, in order that the american people hold them accountable to the natural precursors of violent islamism. thank you. >> dr., dr. jasser. ms. kara? >> on the morning of september 11th, 2001, while working for then u.s. senator russ feingold, my colleagues and i learned that a plane hijacked by terrorists was heading for the capitol. i still vividly recall what it was like to run out of the hart
senate office building, fearing for the safety of my friends, my colleagues, and my family. three weeks later, our senate office received mail contaminated with deadly anthrax spores. my colleagues and i were put on powerful anti-biotics for several months to counteract possible anthrax exposure. you see, mr. chairman, i understand on a deeply personal level what it feels like to fear harm, and to be under attack. i resolved then to do my part to ensure that violent extremisext regardless of race, religion or ideology, never succeed in their mission to destroy the values that make our nation great. freedom, justice and equality
for all. mr. chairman, senator coombs and members of the subcommittee, thank you so much for inviting me to testify today on how we can do better to keep our nation safe while upholding our nation's founding values. days after 9/11, president george bush called on the nation to uphold the values of america. he said, "no one should be singled out for unfair treatment or unkind words because of their ethnic background or religious faith." at a dark moment in our nation's history, president bush comforted the american people by assuring them that we are stronger together. nearly 15 years after 9/11, we are experiencing another dark moment. candidates for president of the
united states have said that law enforcement agencies should patrol and secure muslim neighborhoods, that there should be a national registry for muslims, that muslims should carry special i.d. cards, and that all muslims should be banned from entering the united states. this rhetoric makes our nation less safe. it makes us less safe because law enforcement's job is to find the needle in the haystack, a task that is made much more difficult when more stacks of hay are added to what the fbi director has called a nationwide search for the needles. we are also less safe because isis wants this to be a war against muslims. think about it. do we really want to surrender our values, american values, to a death cult that has no respect
whatsoever for human life and human dignity? tragically, this dangerous political rhetoric has signaled to the public that it is okay to fear your muslim neighbor. the last seven months alone there have been nearly 100 nearly 100 hate crimes against american muslims and those perceived to be muslim. these hate incidents are not mere statistics. they affect real people and families, most importantly our children. late last year, a mother told the story of her daughter, sophia. sophia began collecting all of her favorite things in a bag, fearing that the military would come to take her family away
because they are muslim. as sad as this story is, the response from u.s. army veterans who heard this story was powerful and touching. veterans posted images on social media of themselves in uniform with this message to this child, "i will protect you." since the tragic events in orlando, muslim advocates, along with americans from all walks of life, have stood with our friends in the lgbtq community. you see, we are not willing to give up on america. the idea that a group of people diverse in every imaginable way can form a lasting bond based on the shared principles of freedom, justice and equality for all. some would dismiss this as political correctness. to me, it is a belief in the power of what has made america
great. we hope that our elected officials are not willing to give up on america, that you will do everything in your power to uphold and defend america's defining values and principles. thank you. >> thank you. mr. hainey? >> testing. mr. chairman, and members of the committee, thank you very much for an opportunity to testify here today. also i'd like to express my appreciation for the patience of the members on the committee and senator coombs while obtaining a copy of my written testimony. i'd like to start with a visual aid. this is the homeland security advisory council countering violent extremism subcommittee interim report for 2016. my colleague referred to it earlier as suggesting that we should refrain from using words like uma or jihad or sharia.
i would like to also show you another visual aid and this is what it called the words matter memo that was published in january of 2008. and my story today is going to be what happened between these two documents, these two touchstone documents, 2008 and 2016, because it was during that period of time that what we know now as countering violent extremism policy came to be and one of the expressions of that policy is what we heard about in the media in a few days after the orlando shootings, that attorney general lynch was going to release partial transcript of orlando 911 calls with all references to islamic terrorism removed. that is a condensation of what was actually happening behind the scenes with subject matter experts like myself, who were sworn officers to protect our country from threat, both
foreign and domestic. between these two dates 2008 and 2016 came what i call the first rate purge when i was ordered by the department of homeland security headquarters to modify a euphemism, removing all linking information out of approximately 820 text subject records in our law enforcement system that almost exclusively had to do with muslim brotherhood network here in the united states. i was told to remove all unauthorized references to terrorism, that i was no longer allowed to do what are called memorandums of information received what we call moirs, no more text records, no more research and no more special treatment from the agency, but during that time, hundreds of law enforcement actions had been taken in the three-year period, when those 820 plus records were still in the law enforcement system. at exactly the same time, a
controversial inaugural meeting took place on january 27th and 28th, 2010, between american muslim leaders and the department of homeland security secretary janet napolitano hosted by the civil rights and civil liberties. it was controversial because several of the individuals attended the invitation only conference in d.c. were known affiliates of at least two of the same muslim brotherhood front groups that had just been named as unindicted coconspirators in the largest terrorism trial in the history of the united states, the holy land foundation trial. also that spring at least six individuals with known affiliations to the muslim brotherhood front groups were appointed to the countering violent extremism cve working group which was convened under the authority of the homeland security advisory council. i would like to show you now the logo of the muslim brotherhood, the moderate organization that this administration chose to
ally itself with. across the mid tell says [ speaking in foreign language ] which means the brothers of the muslim or the muslim brotherhood and taken from koran 8:16 is the word which means prepare yourselves to terrify your adversaries with deeds of war or weapons of war. that is the motto of the muslim brotherhood. by the spring of 2010 we had come to a point that a cvp officer was literally moving linking information meaning the dots on muslim brotherhood linked individuals from text while the administration was bringing the very same individuals in to positioning of influence to help create and implement our counterterrorism policy both in the domestic arena and in foreign policy arena, as evidenced in our overt support of the muslim brotherhood in egypt, libya, algeria and syria. fast forward to august 30, 2011, the tabliq court case was approved by the chief counsel of
the tent of homeland security and this san icon of the movement, one of the largest in the world outside of the united states is called the army of darkness. i began a tdy assignment meaning tear duty at the national targeting center in november of 2011. within six months we had instituted 1,200 law enforcement actions on the case that we had started, but in september of 2012 what i call the second great purge when the administration removed 67 linking records out of that case that had direct ties both to the san bernardino mosque, and the islamic center of ft. pierce down in florida. in other words, the network that we had worked on at ntc is tied directly to the terrorist attacks that we've seen recently. at the end of my career, i was relieved in my service weapon all access to text was cut off, and suspended, my secret
clearance was revoked and i was sequestered for 11 months while the results of three simultaneous investigations from three different branches of the government were concluded. in july of 31 of last year i retired honorably. in conclusion the threat of islamic terrorism does not just come from a network of armed organizations such as hamas and isis, who are operating over there somewhere in the middle east. in fact, branches of the same global network have been established here in america and they are operating in plain sight, especially among those of us who have been charged with the duty of protecting our country from threats both foreign and domestic. the goal, meaning the strategy of the global islamic movement is based on koran 2191 through 193 and it's quite simple to establish sharia law everywhere in the world including here in america, and there is an organization in the united states that's actively doing that, called the assembly of muslim jurorists of america,
very benign sounding name but in arabic it's [ speaking in foreign language ] the group of lawyers implementing sharia law in the united states, which is unconstitutional. the threat that we've faced today that continues growing despite the willful blindness of those insisting otherwise are not terrorism or even operative verbs such as jihad, but rather the historical and universally recognized islamic strategic goal of implementing sharia law everywhere in the world, so that no other form of government, including the united states constitution, is able to oppose its influence over the lives of those who must either submit to its authority, become second class citizens or perish. thank you very much for your attention. >> thank you, mr. haney. mr. cohen. >> senator cruz, it's good to see you again. our country faces threats of
violent extremism from many sources. the horrible massacre at the orlando gay nightclub earlier this month by gunmen pledging allegiance to isis is but the latest example. year ago this month, it was the massacre of black churchgoers at the charlston's mother emmanuel church by a white supremacist. two years ago this month the murder of las vegas police officers by anti-government zealots who had been at clive and bundy's ranch. i would not take issue with the obama administration's assessment that terrorism from those affiliated with or inspired by groups like isis represent preeminent threat to our country, but i would point out that the threat of violent extremism from those blinded by racial hatred and rage at the government are serious ones as well. and while i would not go so far as to say that our government has been willfully blind to these latter threats, i would say that the record shows that both republican and democratic administrations as well as the congress have not always given
these latter threats the attention they deserve. the clearest example of this point comes from the history of the domestic terrorism task force to the justice department established after the oklahoma city bombing. the task force was scheduled to have one of its regular monthly meetings on 9/11 but not only was that meeting canceled, the task force didn't meet again for 13 years, as the threat associated with groups like al qaeda came to dominate the government's attention. during this period, the number of hate and conspiracy-minded anti-government groups skyrocketed, and the level of violence from the radical right increased by a factor of four. president obama of course has been a particular lightning rod for the radical right. the day after he was elected stormfront the world's leading neo-nazi website, whose members have committed numerous murders,
reported that it was getting six times its normal traffic. there are a lot of angry white people looking for answers, the site's publisher, a former klansman explained. when dhs released a report in 2009 assessing the likely backlash to the election of our first black president, the reaction from groups like the american legion and members of congress was so fierce that the report was withdrawn and the dhs unit that produced the report was allowed to wither. in 2014, the justice department finally revived its domestic terrorist task force after a white supremacist, glenn miller, killed three persons in overland park, kansas, that he thought were jewish, but still, there are indications of the threat of terrorism associated with groups like isis, dominates the government's thinking. the oklahoma city bombing was the first incident that the first terrorist incident that president obama mentioned in his
speech at the white house summit of countering violent extremism in 2015. but it was virtually the only mention of radical right terrorism during the entire summit. two weeks after the charleston massacre, the house homeland security committee released a terror threat snapshot that didn't mention the charleston killings. congress has held multiple hearings as it should on the threat of terrorism associated with groups like al qaeda, but as far as i know, neither the house nor the senate has held hearings on terrorism directed at law enforcement officials in the west by government zealots such as the bundys. in fact, members of congress as well as state and local officials have actually simp sympathized with the bundys at times. again the threat of extremist violence from individuals associated with or inspired by groups like isis is deadly serious but it's not the only threat that we face.
furthermore, as the recent study by duke university's triangle center on terrorism and homeland security concluded law enforcement's virtual singular focus on the threat of terrorism associated with groups like isis, and its heavy-handed tactics risk fraying the bond of trust between law enforcement and muslim communities that is so essential to effective law enforcement. president bush said it best, we are not at war with islam. muslim communities are part of the solution, not part of the problem. thank you, sir. >> thank you, mr. cohen. mr. gabatz? >> thank you, senator cruz. i'm a national security consultant with the company called understanding the threat, or utt. utt is the only organization in america which trains law enforcement, intelligence professionals, military and leaders on the threat from the global islamic movement, the doctrine of jihadi groups, and how to identify, investigate and
dismantle them. at utt we hold the firm belief that in order to defeat the global islamic movement, we must understand the enemy. u.s. military war fighting doctrine specifically the intelligence preparation of the battlefield manual, states that war planners must begin all analysis of the enemy with who the enemy says they are, and why they are fighting us. that becomes the basis for determine the enemy threat doctrine which in the case of jihadis is sharia. universally the enemy, jihadis, whether it's al qaeda, isis, the muslim brotherhood, they all state that their muslims waging jihad and the cause of alato establish an islamic state under sharia. i'm going to discuss one jihadi group, the muslim brotherhood. based on evidence entered into the largest terrorism financing and hamas trial ever successfully prosecuted in u.s.
history, and my own experience conducting undercover research with hamas doing businesses care, the council on american islamic relations, the whole trial was adjudicated in dallas, texas n 2000le and identified c.a.r.e. as the u.s. muslim brotherhood's palestine committee which is hamas. designated foreign terrorist organization. the u.s. government identified hamas as an outgrowth of the muslim brotherhood. documents entered into evidence in the holy land foundation trial revealed that isna the islamic society of north america is a muslim brotherhood organization which financially supports hamas. again, a designated terrorist organization. at the time it was indicted the holy land foundation was the largest islamic charity in the united states and was convicted on 108 counts for funneling over $1 million to a foreign terrorist organization which hamas which is the palestinian
branch of the muslim brotherhood. the muslim brotherhood creates states "alais our goal, the prophet is our guide, the koran is our constitution. jihad is our way, and death for the glory of alais our greatest inspiration or ambition." the muslim brotherhood bylaws state the islamic nation must be fully prepared to fight the tyrants and enemies of alaas a prelude to establishing the islamic state. again, the muslim brotherhood agenda is no different than that of al qaeda or isis. the muslim brotherhood logo as mr. haney showed has two swords cradling a koran with the reference to ia or verse 860 of the koran which states "against them make ready your strength to the utmost of your power including steeds of war to strike terror into the hearts of the enemies of alaand your enemies."
this verse is also referenced in the al qaeda training manual which was discovered in may 2000 by british investigators conducting a search of al qaeda operative. during my time conducting undercover research as an person is for hamas at care, in maryland, virginia, and herndon, virginia, and care in washington, d.c., i saw documents doing hamas business care conspiring to cover up fraud, discuss coordinating with bip laden and his associates, placed staffers and interns inside congressional offices, conspired to influence congress, specifically judiciary, intelligence, and homeland security committees, impact of congressional districts, tasking each hamas chapter office with influencing at least two legislators, and ordering books from the saudi embassy on the virtue of jihad and martyrdom. i worked with the mumz limb law enforcement officer to influence
a major terrorism investigation by accessing a classified federal police database and tipping off the suspect and the current administration in the u.s. national security apparatus continues to use leaders of muslim brotherhood groups like isna, the muslim public affairs council, care and others to provide direct input into american foreign policy and domestic counterterrorism strategies. one of the results of the situation is to order the removal of terms like jihad and sharia from our counterterrorism lexicon. i attended a convention in columbus, ohio, in 2008, organized by muslim brotherhood group isna and both the department of homeland security and the department of justice federal bureau of prisons had recruitment and outreach booths. congressman eth ellison and andre carson spoke at the muslim brotherhood event and witness aid vocal advocate for the implementation of sharia and unindicted coconspirator in the 1993 world trade center bombing
solicit donations for hamas at care's annual banquet. he was the first imam to offer prayers in congress. often when understanding the threat offers training the federal, state and local law enforcement group muslim brotherhood work cancel the training by threatening them with ties or with cries of islamaphobia and racism. documents entered into evidence into the holy land foundation trial entitle and explanatory memorandum outline the role of the muslim brotherhood in north america "the process of settlement is a civilization jihadist process, with all the word means the equan must understand their work in america is a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying western civilization from within and sabotaging its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated in god's religion is made victorious over all other religions."
according to our enemy, the global islamic movement, made up of many groups including al qaeda, isis, the muslim brotherhood, tabliq, boko haram, hamas, hezbollah, and many nation states including pakistan, iran, saudi arabia and many others, they all seek to impose sharia. it is the blueprint from which they create their war fighting strategies, from a u.s. war fighting per spective that naturally makes sharia the enemy threat doctrine and adherence to sharia direct threat to the republic. until american leaders and national security professionals identify the threat and formulate policies and strategies that address adherence to this ideology, we will continue on our current path of defeat and eventually lose this war here at home as we did in iraq and afghanistan. thank you. >> thank you, sir. mr. gherman? >> chairman cruz, ranking member coombs, members of the sub
committee thank you for inviting me to testify. it's clear our counterterrorism ertz are not as effective to reduce political violence abroad and build public resiliency to terrorism at home i disagree the obama's administration's reluctance to use the term radical islam is part of the problem. policymaker answer anti-muslim advocacy organizations ensured that radical islam remained a predominant part of the terrorism discourse since the 9/11 attacks. congress held more than a dozen hearings on the topic. biased and factually flawed counterterrorism training materials vividly demonstrate these groups had substantial influence on the instruction these agencies provided over many years. the problem is there's too little talk of radical islam but too much. debris with president obama that this rhetoric offends many values of equality, religious liberty and free expression and undermines the national unity
and international cooperation necessary to effectively counter terrorist violence at home and abro abroad. this is not political correctness. it is factual correctness. radical islam is no more accurate or appropriate descriptor of the source of terrorist violence committed by muslims than radical christianity would be to describe the cku klux klan, arm of god or others. it doesn't withstand scholarly scrutiny. it serves to stoke public fear, xenophobia and anti-muslim bigotry. it's been used to include hezbollah, al die coo i da, isis, skrab, iran and the liberty city seven. the fact that the first five are locked in armed conflict with one another and the last wasn't even a muslim group doesn't seem to matter to those determined to see them as parts of a global conspiracy. more damaging however is when radical is used to smear muslim
civil rights groups, charities and religious institutions in the same way the fbi did to labor organizers, civil rights and peace activists during the red scares. as in the past, weer in thinking we can improve our collective national security by undermining the security and liberty of some subset of fellow americans. the skewed focus on terrorism committed by muslims has clearly impacted law enforcement priorities, policies and practices which have disproportionately and indiscriminately targeted american muslim communities with surveillance and infiltration, often to the exclusion of other violent threats. half of the violent crimes including a third of the roughly 15,000 homicides in the u.s. each year go unsolved, even as the fbi investigates tens of thousands of false leads based on flawed radicalization theories. meanwhile, if a 2011 triple homicide in waltham, massachusetts, had been solved,
tamerl eerlan tsarnaev would noe been free to mastermind the 2013 boston marathon bombing. in foreign policy our focus on extremist ideology is the lens through which we evaluate many different civil wars, blinds us to the true nature of these political conflicts and puts us on a path to perpetual war with predictable consequences to civil liberties, human rights and the rule of law. ideas cannot be killed and ideologies cannot be destroyed. we defeated nazi jrm know in world war ii my undercover work against know owe nazis in the 1990s and political assassination in britain this month show fascism was not defeated. we respond appropriately to this threat by criminalizing the violent behavior, not by attempting to destroy an ideology. today americans know little about isis except to be deathly afraid of it, which is exactly the way isis likes it. the flawed narrative that likens radical islam to an ideological
virus spreading unseen through vulnerable american muslim communities is generating mutual distrust and animosity leading to more try dent calls for discriminatory policy answer increasing anti-muslim violence. this is self-defeating as ail yengs and the experience of discrimination are often identified as the conditions that lead to greater radicalization. counterterrorism discourse that pits americans against one another and amplifies public fear will not improve our national security. we need to develop more effective strategies, designed to build national unity and assuage public fear about providing the nature and scope of the many threats we face and the efficacy of the measures we're taking to address them. protecting american values and our commitment to the rule of law is what will ensure lasting security. thank you. >> thank you, sir. mr. mccarthy? >> thank you, chairman cruz, members of the committee, thank
you for inviting me to testify today. as my submitted testimony summarizes i worked on terrorism investigations, trials, and changes in counterterrorism law in various capacities over the years. it taught me that there are very much two sides to the story. the first muslims i met in our investigation after the 1993 world trade center bombing were not terrorists. they were muslims who were seized with a patriotic fervor for the united states, without whom we could not have infiltrated terror cells and stopped a massive murder attack, the plot on the new york city landmarks, which would have killed thousands of people. in my second career as a writer in 2008, i penned an account of my experiences entitled "willful blindness: a memoir of the jihad." the title is obviously a double entendre. my principal defense omar
abdel-rahman is a blind ex-poenent of sharia supremacist ideology. our government's response to the threats has been and continues to be willfully blind to this ideology. the belief system that catalyzes the threat against us. to grasp this dangerous phenomenon, we need only consider the blind sheikh himself. after the world trade center bombing our government represented to the american people just as it does today that the terrorist attack executed by muslims in express reliance on islamic scripture was a juanton act, unrepresentative of any mainstream of islamic thought, but think about the blind sheikh. he was not merely blind, he was beset by several other medical handicaps. terrorism is hard work, yet here was a man who was the unquestioned leader of a terrorist cell who seemed utterly incapable of doing anything that would be helpful to a terrorist organization. he couldn't build a bomb. he couldn't hijack a plane, he
couldn't carry out an assassination. all he could do was command murder. how could that be? the answer was straightforward, though it was plainly not one that we wanted to hear and still one that we do not want to hear. the blind sheikh is a doctor of islamic jurisprudence graduated from alazar university in cairo, the seat of sunni islamic learning for over a millennium. his area of expertise is sharia, islam's legal code and societal framework. the jihadists who listened to him did so because he is an internationally recognized authority in islamic scripture, specifically of the political ideology drawn from that scripture that inspires attacks against the west. the centrality of ideology tells us why terrorists obeyed the blind sheikh. it tells us why terrorists act, something that we must grasp, if we have any hope of defending ourselves and defeating them. yet instead of focusing on this
ideology, we have wasted much of the last two decades on a fool's errand attempting to define a true islam in the futile hope of discrediting terrorists as purveyors of a false islam. the stubborn fact is, there may not be a true islam. islam has a rich and diverse history, and there are various interpretations of it, all vying for the mantle of true islam, and denying it to one another. enumerable factions of muslims have been debating one another often violently for 14 centuries. they have not settled the question what is the true islam. the united states is not going to settle it either. from the standpoint of american national security, it is irrelevant whether there is a true islam. it matters there he is a sharia premises of islam to which hundreds of muslims adheredor centuries, they are supported by
centuries of scholarship and scriptural literalism and we are not going to convince them that they are wrong. sharia supremacistism their interpretation of islam is less a religion as we understand it as it is a political radicalism with a reledgious veneer. it is virulently anti-western, misogyni misogynist, anti-semitic, homophobic, it rejects basic tenets of western liberalism including the power of people to chart their own destiny and make laws in contravention of sharia, it rejects individual liberty and equality, it brooks no separation between spiritual life and civil society, it endorses violent jihad to implement and spread sharia and regards the united states closely trailed by israel and europe as the principal enemies of islam who must be defeated. this is something we desperately need to understand and highlight not obscure and avoid.
there has been a reluctance to do this, and this is not a partisan issue. government counterterrorism policy has been willfully blind for a quarter century to the ideological underpinnings of radical islamic terrorism. the reluctance has been rationalized on the wayward theory that because a person's religious beliefs and political speech are constitutionally shielded from prosecution, they are similarly shielded from mere inquiry and investigation, not withstanding that we know these are often the precursors to violence. sensible national security policy cannot regard evidence as if it were hate speech. there is nothing inherently wrong with much less constitutionally offensive about the concept that radical religious beliefs or political beliefs should trigger investigations. that is especially the case if those beliefs are conveyed by aggressive language, or by
association with other radicals or rasimosques known to endorse anyladism. an important principle we must get right t cannot be an evidence an investigator may ma guilt of terrorism offenses is somehow insulated from an investigator's suspicions about potential terrorism offenses. the goal of counterterrorism is supposed to be the prevention of jihadist attacks, not the hope there may be a living terrorist or two still around to be indicted and tried only after americans have been murdered. in 1996, i was awarded the justice department's highest honor for proving the nexus between jihadist commands in islamic scripture, their exploitation and the commission of atrocities by young muslims he inflamed. today to say allowed what the clinton administration honored
me for 20 years ago is to be ostracized as an islamic phobic bigot. mr. chairman and members of the committee, that is no way to protect our country. thank you. >> thank you, mr. mccarthy. i would like to thank each of the witnesses for your testimony today. i want to begin my questioning with mr. haney. i would note that i think your testimony before this subcommittee today is exceptionally important and i would command both members of the media and members of the american public to examine your testimony closely. what you you have described a systematic policy, indeed, of scrubbing, sanitizing, erasing references to radical islam. indeed, you described in your oral testimony that as the, quote, first great purge where
876 documents were edited by the fbi to remove references to radical islamic terrorism. am i understanding your testimony correctly that the administration has been systemically scrubbing materials to remove reference to radical islam. >> in the trial when it was proven in federal court these networks were tied to financial support of hamas, the 800 plus records i was ordered to modify removing all the linking information out of the system casualty texts were all linked directly to the muslim brotherhood network of individuals and organizations established right here in the united states. >> mr. haney, i want to draw your attention to the following chart that compares the 9/11 commission report, which had 126
references to jihad, 145 references to the word "muslim" and 322 references to islam. if we fast forward to the fbi counterterrorism lexicon, we see the relevant numbers are zero, zero and zero. suddenly jihad, muslim and islam disappeared. they have likewise disappeared from the national intelligence strategy in 2009, zero, zero and zero. from the strategic implementation plan to prevent violent extremism, zero, one. one slipped in, apparently. the national intelligence strategy 2014. is this pattern of orwellian editing consistent with your experience and what you observed helping protect this nation? >> yes. the first great purge i referred to is in 2009, but that wasn't the last one. there was another great purge in
2012 when they didn't just modify the records, they completely eliminated them out of the system, which bypasses the security property ctocal in homeland security. they were directly related to the case of the 67 records deleted out of the system. >> would you elaborate on how potentially focusing on this threat might have helped prevent the san bernardino terrorist attack or the orlando terrorist attack? >> the networks are made up of individuals and organizations and individuals don't exist without a network of organizations. you have to look at both of them. that's why there is no such thing as a lone wolf terrorist because they don't function in a vacuum outside the structure of
the community, just like planets don't rotate around the sun without the gravitational force to hold them in place. to look at these acts as separate from the community is a flaw because we are looking, first of all, at tactics, not strategy. the strategy is implementation of sharia law. if we only look on tactics, they are kaleidoscopic and will change constantly. we can never acquire a target. if we understand the underlying strategy of the global islamic movement, we understand why these organizations exist in the first place. then we understand why the people who go there are going to be affected by that gravitational force, if you will, and orbit their lives around that central structure. that's why the mosque in ft. pierce is called islamic center because it provides a center to their life. >> miss kara, your organization
asked john brennan and the obama administration to, quote, purge references such as this from law enforcement training materials and at the request of your organization, the administration complied. is it the position of your administration that the references to jihad, muslims and islams and the 9/11 report were somehow offensive or bigoted? >> my organization's position is training materials as well as intelligence products that were produced by the fbi are not only offensive and inflammatory and alienating muslims and american muslims, but more importantly, they make us less safe. the reason they make us less safe is that i think what the recent tragedies have shown us, including orlando, is that we need law enforcement more than ever focusing on finding the
needles in the hay stack and broadly painting an entire faith community with a broad-brush of suspicion, we are actually dumping more hay on to the hay stack and making law enforcement's job more difficult. if i could just give an example -- >> with respect, i would like to ask you to answer the specific question i ask. is it your organization's position that the 126 references to jihad by the 9/11 commission were somehow offensive or bigoted? s. >> let me -- i want to make it clear, mr. chairman that our concern is about, not just terminology, but it's about what these materials are communicating. it's not just about using the word jihad or muslim but what it's communicating to agents and what it's communitying to the general public. >> you don't think it was bigoted to use jihad? i want to understand your organization's position whether or not it is bigoted to use the
word jihad. >> so this is when i think it's problematic. i think it's when we have public officials, whether members of congress, member of the administration who are going out and describing the problem as a problem of jihad or problem of radical islamic terrorism. that's a problem. it's actually playing into the propaganda frame of isis. it makes us less safe. isis wants this to be a war against islam. by using religiously-loaded terminology like jihad, we are playing into their mindset. i might add, it's also just grossly inaccurate. i think we need to call the threat what it is. it's isis, it's al qaeda. it's no different than the kkk or those who attack abortion clinics. we wouldn't say there is a problem with radical christianity or radical christian terrorism. we call the threat what it is. it's the kkk. those who are attacking women's health clinics. >> so miss khera, i will note i
asked you now twice if your organization has the view that the 9/11 commission report was bigoted or offensive, twice you have declined to answer that pretty straight forward question. let me try a different direction. >> maybe i didn't understand your question properly, mr. chairman. the use of the term in general by the 9/11 commission report, i don't think, is problematic in itself. i think it's in general as officials are talking about what the threat is. i think that's what my concern is. >> if it wasn't a concern, then why would it be purged from 126 down to zero, zero, zero, zero? >> i can't explain the administrati administration -- i cannot speak for these government agencies that did that and what their thinking was. >> they did it in response to a request calling for a purge. >> we asked for a purge of bigoted training materials.
that's what we called for. >> let me try it a different direction. march 16, 2015, the long island press quoted glen katan, the legal director for your organization saying, "like what are you going to do about radicalization in the muslim community? that's nonsense. there is no such thing." i'm curious, do you agree with the legal director of your organization that there is no such thing as radicalization in the muslim community? >> this is what we do believe, mr. chairman. what we believe, and this is based on attacks we've seen in our country in just the last year alone, whether it's the orlando shooting, the attack on a women's health clinic, the church in charleston, sblg, we know extremist violence takes many forms. people motivated, regardless of race, religion or ideology. what we also know is that there is no pathway, so to speak, to
get to that point of engaging in violence. what the national security and law enforcement experts say is that the common thread you see is vulnerable individuals who are seeking a sense of purpose. so we totally disabuse and do not believe in this canard that there is somehow a pathway to radicalization. that's what numerous studies have shown, as well. >> i want to give you one more opportunity to answer the question directly. i don't believe you did. do you agree with your legal director who said, quote, there is no such thing as radicalization in the muslim community? >> there are violent individuals in all communities, including the muslim community, but -- >> is it connected to any ideology? >> there are some people who where there is ideology that's a part, but not the center or even part of the center causation
that causes people to engage in violence. it's experts like my colleague mr. german and law enforcement national experts who say that. >> i'm going to give you one more opportunity to say yes or no you agree with the legal director, there is no such thing as radicalization in the muslim community. note for the record, senator durbin doesn't want you to answer that question. >> i would like you to show the courtesy of this witness instead of badgering her. >> thank you. >> i would like the administration that shows the courtesy of the victims of radical islamic terrorism doesn't edit a 9/11 report and pretending a threat doesn't exist. >> mr. chairman, i would like to say i think up aerobeen very respectful to this witness. the witness is not answered your
question. i think you had a right to pursue it. you did it in a gentlemanly, professional way. i'm disappointed that senator durbin would not understand that. >> senator coons. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i think it is important for us to allow a broader conversation than that one question. let me go back to the openingism, if i might, to dr. jaser and miss khera. you took issue and many witnesses today took issue with president obama's alleged refusal to use the very term radical islam. one of the questions we have is what we are going to do to keep our country safer going forward. the presumptive democratic nominee, former secretary clinton, has used the term radical islamism. is this entire hearing dedicated to the difference of those three letters? and in my view, it is worth considering whether proposals made by candidates for president
including the chairman and donald trump to conduct patrols of so-called muslim neighborhoods, to require a national list of muslim americans, to bar muslims from coming to this country or to conduct surveillance of first amendment protected religious activities. i have to ask a question for both of you. would those proposals make us safer? we've had a lot of testimony here today from this panel about whether or not there is willful blindness, whether or not there is actions taken by dedicated professional law enforcement officials as a result of alleged political correctness by this administration. i think a pressing question for this panel and for the members of this committee, as we look forward to the next administration, is whether we will address this whole problem by system preliminary having a nominee who speaks of radical islamism or whether we'll address this problem by inflaming the entire muslim world against us by proposing things that are unsound as a matter of law enforcement
practice and unsound as a matter of our own constitution. ms. khera, dr. jasser, i would be interested in your response. >> senator coons, if i may, i agree with you talking about the terminology is not going to swipe the problem away. i think the issue is that we need to actually focus on the actual activity of violence, what's causing the violence, and ensuring that law enforcement has the resources they need to actually focus on finding those needles in the hay stack, so to speak. i think having this dispute about the terminology is not helping law enforcement do its job. we need to focus on the real threat. and i might add that way said earlier that the use of this kind of terminology is also potentially counterproductive because it actually feeds into the narrative and the frame that our enemies want. isis wants this to be a war against islam, a war against
muslims. to be frank with you, as i was sitting and listening to some of the comments from my colleagues on this panel earlier, what is just really disturbed because i thought, gosh, if isis is watching this hearing now, half these panelists have just given them so much ammunition to go out and create recruiting videos to say, look, this is what the u.s. senate is doing. they're actually giving a mouthpiece to this kind of, frankly, garbage. >> thank you, dr. jasser? >> senator coons, i wholly reject the moral equivalency somehow having this conversation is going to unleash hatred and bigotry against muslims. it tells them the most democratic country in the world -- >> didn't ms. khera testify to a significant rise of hate crimes against muslims the past few years? >> cause and relationship i would reject. i believe as many muslim reformers will tell you that denial fuels bigotry.
denial of the problem and the diagnosis creates a treatment that is a short-term whack-a-mole program rather than treating the disease and cancer at its core and polarizes our community into two sides. one says there is no problem, almost like the alcoholic that doesn't want to deal with it. the other says every muslim is a possible terrorist. actually, this conversation and the reason the cve terminology is adopted by the saudis and turks and iranians because they love it. they love the fact that they want this u.s. senate not to talk about political islam because they can continue to say they are our allies, all the while the death cult you say is just a cult is exactly what the saudi regime does in their country, beheadings and sharia and iran, they say they are with us. they don't want us to unpeel the onion of theocratic islam.
adding the "ism" islamism would allow us to engage muslim reformers. miss kher and others don't want reformers to have this debate in public. they want us to continue to let our muslim community be dominated by islamist apologists from saudi, iran, saying closure eyes. america can't deal with this because they are a bunch of bigots who can't separate between thecrates and free-thinking muslims. >> is that the case, you don't think we can have a robust debate? >> thank you, senator. let me just say i authentic where my colleague mr. jasser is going, he is trying to have a that he logical debate. there may well need to be a theological debate, whether in the united states or other muslim countries. what i'm focused on is how we can keep our country safe.
how can law enforcement do its job, and i've been in this work for 15 years. i've spoken to senior law enforcement officials and the fbi and justice department and the bush administration and present administration. i never once have heard a senior law enforcement official say that the problem is islam, that the problem is radical islam. that's just not an accurate description of a threat. we frankly make our country less safe if we continue to not focus on the true threat. >> if i might turn to you. you served as an fbi officer for 15 years, that is correct? >> 16. >> you conducted numerous investigations undercover and direct investigations of radical and extremist groups, both white supremacists and anti-government, but also those who draw some connection to or inspiration from perverted versions of islam. would that be roughly accurate? >> roughly. >> your suggestion in your testimony was that removing from
training materials suggestions that are unfounded in fact and that are misleading and bigoted, actually will make law enforcement more effective, more focused. talk further about that, if you would. >> sure. a lot of the materials that were uncovered through an aclu foya and later worked by investigative journals showed this material was not just openly biased against arabs and muslims and other groups, too. there were chinese. cultural awareness trainings and many others. they had a lot of factual flaws. as an investigator trained to do investigations, we want to focus on facts and focus on what it is we are trying to accomplish. we are trying to accomplish a reduction in violence. when i was working undercover in the neo zazi groups, there were a lot of people who said a lot of things i didn't like. what i had to do working within
the guidelines i had at the time was objectively evaluate where there was a reasonable indication of criminal activity by. focusing on the handfuls of people that were actually engaging in criminal activity, i could ignore the vast numbers that were expressing themselves in ways i considered hateful and abhorrent but weren't illegal. i believe our society is robust enough we can live with those sorts of expressions because they fail by their own lack of merit. what we need to do is make sure our law enforcement officials and our counterterrorism officials are focused on the facts on the ground rather than theories that don't survive scholarly scrutiny. >> let me make sure i hear you right. does the removal of factually based, racially biased and factually flawed counterterrorism training materials make us less safe? does it weaken the ability of law enforcement to identify potentially violent folks? >> no.
it makes our law enforcement more effective. >> one of the comments i made in my opening, the chairman took difference with was i suggested that omar martin and his actions will be the subject of ongoing scrutiny. way meant, if i could clarify was there are and will continue to be debates in this senate about whether we should take actions to close the terror watch list loophole, that some would argue, i would argue made it possible for him to acquire powerful weapons. others might argue, as i do, we should more adequately fund federal, state and local law enforcement in order to ensure we've got more boots on the ground, more folks capable of the law enforcement work you did. others, and that's largely the point of this hearing, would suggest the right response would be to focus on whether there are a few words and a few important guide books and whether or not we correctly understand islamism versus islam. do you think closing the terror loophole or do you think taking stronger actions to support local law enforcement are important to a successful
strategy to keep americans safe? >> i'm afraid that the terrorist watch lists have been fraught with problems from the very beginning. particularly the lack of due process makes it impossible for the public to judge whether these are effective methodologies, clearly, weave aeroseen cases where people like were on the watch list. i would hope we could see clarity and due process brought to the watch list to make it better. certainly providing more resources to law enforcement is always something that's welcome. if the model that the fbi using that, is using now which includes mass surveillance and trying to whittle down who may
or may not present a threat combined with see something, say something tiplines that flood them with information that the webster commission called the data explosion within the fbi is actually making it difficult for them to focus on real threats. woo we need to do is go back to the standards i worked under which required an objective reasonable indication. very low standard, but you're working with a reasonable indication based on actual evidence of illegal activity rather than flawed theories and mass suspicion that's difficult to clear. >> classic law enforcement work that relies on indication of acts, substantive acts, further assaults on innocent civilians rather than loose theories about what islam is or isn't in the modern world? >> exactly. if you look at the tens of thousands of investigations, very few find enough information to justify the next level of investigation, which only requires an allegation. an inspector general report from
2010 suggested that the fbi was actually, fbi agents were making their own allegations so it's not a very high standard to meet that second level but it was a tiny percentage. just over 4% that made it to that level. we are spinning our wheels a lot, creating a lot of false alarms that make it easier for real threats to slip through the cracks. >> thank you, mr. german. >> thank you, senator coons. senator sessions would be next but he's kindly allowed senator lee to go first due to schedule constraints. >> thank you dr. jasser, the administration has blamed acts of terrorism both foreign and domestic on factors such as poverty and lack of educational opportunities, lack of employment opportunities. when this approach is taken, this approach tends to ignore profiles of many terrorists in the past, including, for
example, many of the 9/11 hijackers, certainly including osama bin laden himself. a lot of these people were well educated and had personal wealth and had a lot of career opportunities that were significant, more substantial. in 2015, there was a state department spokeswoman, marie harve who commented that the lack of opportunities for jobs and good governance were the root causes of isis. i'd like to know from your perspective as a muslim, one who has worked extensively on studying on understanding political islam and the root causes of islamic extremism, have you found that these sorts of material factors, including
educational opportunities, career opportunities, wealth, et cetera, poverty, have you found that these are the root causes of radicalization within islamic populations? >> thank you for that, senator lee. i'm reminded of a saying that my father and grandfather used to say in syria which is when you point to the moon, the idiot looks at the finger. the issue is a there's a lot of things to blame for, and there are a lot of things that make individuals that are radicalized susceptible. we hear this administration blame the syrian revolution on climate warning. we hear narratives we try in this ethno-centric focus to claim whatever fits into a partisan check box on what's happening in the muslim world. i would tell you -- i'm hearing some of the answers from my colleagues on the panel. i keep hearing this short-term
solution versus long term solutions and a vision. the reason we have the largest agency in government focused on counterradicalization because we have a sophisticated whack-a-mole program. sometimes like treating cancer, the patient may get sicker before they get better. if you don't treat the disease and suppress systems, you will ultimately kill the patient or not treat and learn about the disease. i can tell you the bottom line is the rat cal ideology is islam is that time in history what christianity was in the 16th, 18th century. we can sit it out and let others that are moving movements of hundreds of millions and stay asleep and say, well, in america where we are most fitted to have this revolution of ideas within the house of islam, we can let them do it and dominate the
conversation under countering violent extremism or weigh. in treat them with tough love and think we are going to treat the theocratic mentality. it prevents the advancement of the ideas of freedom that can happen in this laboratory in america. >> to take your medical analogy a step further, you refer to treating symptoms instead of addressing the root cause. i assume analogize this to a misdiagnosis. if we misdiagnose this as a malady brought about because of poverty or career opportunities what might we miss? >> we miss the fact prisoners in saudi arabia and syria are fighting not against poverty, fighting for freedom, for liberty. in this free society we can't
even recognize the voices, the dissident voices. it would be like in the cold war being told that their voice is don't matter. all that matters is the economic polite under soviets. in the meantime our government would cozy up to the italian nonsoviet communists as being our allies when the root problem was communism and socialism and collectivism. in this battle, the root problem is theocracy. the government doesn't need to become experts in sharia but at least take sides within the house of islam and let the arabs and pakistanis stop seeing us as cozying up to the theocrates pressing against the hundreds of millions that are islamics and majorities of the green revolution and in america right now we are letting, by not using the terms, we are letting the islamists define and lead what it is to be a muslim.
i reject that as an american muslim that loves this constitution. >> thank you very much, dr. jasser. >> thank you, senator lee. senator klobuchar. >> i think senator durbin might have been next. all right. thank you very much. thank you, mr. chairman, for holding this hearing and thank you senator coons, thank you to our witnesses this hits at home for me. we have the largest somali population in the country. i went out to meet our first ambassador in 25 years to somalia, ambassador schwarz who has been in foreign service 20 years and taking on this difficult assignment and understands this is a balance. the balance is going after terrorism and evil at its roots at places, in places like somalia, going after isis at its roots. it's also going after extreme ideolo ideologies, islamic extremism
here at home. but in our community, we love our somali community. nearly 100,000 people, i have a full-time somali outreach. he's now been elected to the school board. we have people who are running businesses, who are part of the fabric of life in our state. i was the prosecutor managing an office of 400 people during 9/11 where massoui was captured. we get this balance and see it all the time. i figured my mission as a prosecutor was to convict the guilty and protect the innocent. what i have seen the change from 9/11 when the bush u.s. attorney went around to the mosques and assured people at president bush's direction they would not be victims of hate crimes, they would not be bullied, we would stand up for them and that was part of america, i've seen different rhetoric right now.
that is hurting those communities, and not furthering justice. i met with some of our people from our muslim community a few months ago at a mosque and heard the story of a family that had gone out for dinner. the parents experienced no discrimination before. they were having dinner with two kids and a man walked by and said you four go home, you go home to where you came from. the little girl looked at her mom and said, mom, i don't want to go home. you said we could go out to dinner tonight. i want to eat dinner here. i don't want to eat dinner at home. those were the innocent words of a child because she only knows one home. that is minnesota. she only knows one home, and that is the united states of america. in a state where we now had dozens of indictments against people who have been trying to go to join those evil terrorist organizations of al shabaab and isis where we have convicted people in just the past month,
understanding how important this is, respecting our law enforcement, u.s. attorney appointed by this administration for their work, i still understand how we cannot indict an entire religion and community because of the conduct of a few. so this is a balance. i guess my first question, and i heard congressman ellison's name was raised. he is my congressman. a man of great patriotism. he paired up with one of the most conservative members in the house who took michele bachmann's seat to start the somali conference. the two have done that together because we don't see politics as getting in the way of not just the prosecution of criminals and evil, but also in the defense of americans and innocent americans. i heard his name raised. i know i want everyone on the panel to know he has been an advocate for funding, as i have
been as senator franken and many to figure out how we can go after this and figure out when kids and young people -- no parent wants their kids to grow up to be a terrorist, how they are influenced by this and how we can do a better job identifying problems. that's why the homeland security. jeh johnson will testify here. we are putting out grants from homeland security. we put something like $50 million in the last appropriations bill to try to go after this violent extremism. i ask you how you think this could work and how this is part of the solution, in addition to what i support is strong law enforcement and this side to prevent these kids from being influenced in the first place. >> thank you for the question. i've been fortunate enough to go to minneapolis and speak quite a bit with the minneapolis somalia american community. i think part of the problem is
keeping the frame as extremism. when you look at the foreign travel in the first instance during the somali civil war, there was an invasion from a foreign country into their ancestral homeland. since there has been a united states of america, americans have gone to fight in foreign conflicts, not just ones they have some familial attachment to, but where they felt some interest in either becoming part of a big adventure or some ideological attachment to one side or another. we have treated that as a normal part of american life. we now have this prism of extremism where we ignore the conflicts going on and treat it as a problem within the heads of these children. my concern is that by doing so what we are doing is shoving the conversations about those
foreign conflicts into the dark corners of the room. right? parents tell their children, don't talk about politics and somalia or syria and iraq when you're in the classroom. don't talk about that -- >> i don't think that is what this program is about, mr. german. this is not about that. it's about working with communities and trying to give them the kind of support they need so if a kid is starting to have issues and they see things that they start pairing them up with people so they can figure out what's happening. >> so i've been looking at these programs. >> you don't support them? >> it's difficult to say that because i can't get information about them. >> okay. >> we have been trying very hard. these are public programs, we should be able to evaluate them publically. >> we sh ud aould be asking jeh johnson about this. i want to see some of the other views here. some of these people that have been recruited in minnesota,
there is some terrorist cell issues. a lot of times it's people on the internet. obviously, we have first amendment rights. i am two minutes over already here, about what we should be doing here to limit some of this recruiting and taking responsibility with the private and public sector. this is slick recruiting that's going on right now right within our midst. >> thank you for the question. we have to put out alternative voices, not have a narrative that we are opposed to them or that we are attacking their religion. there was this big study done by the people at duke. they surveyed almost 400 law enforcement officials and talked to over 200 community members in a variety of focus groups.
the sense was that there was sort of an oppressive atmosphere from law enforcement toward these communities. that i think is pernicious and counterproductive. we have to maybe restart and rethink some of these programs. of course, provide alternative narratives for the young people. if i could add one more thing. a lot of the rhetoric in the presidential campaign has been, i think, pernicious for young people. we did a nationwide survey of teachers to ask what has happened in your classroom as a result of this? there are a lot of kids who are feeling bullied, a lot of kids who are feeling scared. especially young people. >> i heard the same thing. >> yeah. and that is a dangerous thing, too. i think it's quite important that all of us, especially people in your position, positions of other persons on this committee speak out against
that. >> that's something president bush focused on after 9/11. >> it made a big difference. >> yes. all right. thank you very much. >> senator sessions. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. cohen, i remember during the civil rights days and your organization was standing firm for equality and rsds sued the clan and went after them aggressively and condemned their radical ideas. i don't think there is anything wrong with that, mr. jasser. aren't you saying it's all right if someone advocates a position that's extreme or violent or incompatible with the republican doctrines of america, the constitutional order, that they should be challenged on those beliefs? isn't that the honest way we debate issues in this country? >> i believe there is nothing that would melt away muslim
bigotry more than for americans to see muslims step to the plate and counter theocracy. once they see we are the most essential head of the spear in this battle and see the 15 principles we signed where we condemn violent jihad, condemn the caliphate, we sent this to every mosque in america and have gotten crickets back because the media and government are complies italy giving muslims a pass whether they side with american constitutionalism. i hear references to president bush's administration, what he said post 2011, it's completely different. the arab awakening countered the regimes that fixed the narrative in the west to compare what we did pre-2011 to post arab awakening is folly.
>> i remember during the civil rights days, national tv networks, maybe they were atheists, jewish, catholic, whatever, going into churches in the south, sticking a camera in the face of a preacher and asking them, can an african-american and black person worship in your church, yes or no? this was a difficult question. it was pretty tough, but i thought and in retrospect, that kind of challenge caused people to realize the position was untenable. it could not be defended in public debate and it went away, essentially. is that the kind of challenge you think that ought to be made to extremist groups within the islamic rubric? >> we need to challenge muslims to realize that violent homophobia comes from nonviolent
homophobia. when the president goes to a mosque, he went to the islamic society of baltimore. they had gender apartheid as a policy, a sermon which was against homosexuals a year prior our muslim reform movement publicized. why is he going to this mosque? it appeared to be a bigotry of low expectations that we don't hold muslims accountable to the same values we do everybody else in the west and this country. we'll give lectures to christians, jews and others, but when it comes to muslims, the mosque is in the 13th century when it comes to women's rights, gay rights and other rights. treat us with tough love, hold us accountable and the bigotry that exists in america will melt away because they'll see us as essential. >> the islamic world and muslim religion is a great religion. millions of people, millions follow dock strins and don't
believe in these things. villages and cities throughout the world, and i doernt see there is anything wrong challenging that doctrine. mr. mccarthy, they say well this is not islam. the people who practice this ideological violent, terroristic idea believe they are practicing islam, do they not? >> they certainly do. they have a lot of basis for doing so. >> with regard to miss khera, i think there's some theological issues here. if you believe your religion calls for certain things, you may not believe that but some do. this causes part of the problem, does it not? >> i think the biggest problem you have is the imputation of bigotry and bias to fact. when i was a prosecutor doing
these cases, it was simply a fact that there are commands to violence in the scripture that they are mediated and exploited by people like the blind sheik, and they inspire young muslims to commit violence. now, the way he interpreted those verses is certainly not the only way to interpret them. a lot of thor who oik work i think dr. jasser does is precisely to try to either correct what may be translation errors or to contextualize these disturbing verses. are we going to put our head in the sand about whether they are there? >> that's what we are dealing with, colleagues. i wish it were not so that there are people that can find verses within the koran that justify violence, and we can say it's
not religious if we want to, but they think it is. mr. haney, i understood you said that sharia law, is it a part of the koran itself? is a call to sharia law a part of the koran? i didn't know that it was. >> speak of. >> it's called the dean. there are several names for it in arabic. dean means law and/or belief or religion. sharia is derived from a combination of the koran itself, the haddif, saying of mohammed and what you might call tradition. all combined together into one, what's called consensus. so it's partially koranic. it is the gravitational force that brings order to the universe of islam.
it's a very important concept. sharia is the driving force of the global islamic community, and simultaneously of the global islamic movement. what we see are expressions, are tactics, ways to implement or i should say ways to achieve the goal of an implementing sharia law. tactical ways. all the way in a spectrum from promotion or invitation to join islam up to what we call jihad and other verbs which mean slaughter on push away. they are more frequent in the koran than jihad if we are going to have an honest discussion about the strategies and tactics of the global islamic movements, what we need to do is address honestly and with courage the verbs and meanings of the words that we have been constantly
told to ignore or purge away and what they actually mean and how they drive the individuals we've seen. >> you are a very accomplished prosecutor. i recall the manson trial, they proved the ideology, the motivating factors to the manson group and why they did the murders. that's what did you in your case, did you not? you identified and proved as part of your case the motive based on what they interpreted their faith to mean. >> yeah. i respectfully find it mind boggling to have a conversation in which it's suggested that we need to turn a blind eye to
ideology when you actually get into the four corners of a trial on most of the charges that we bring, which are essentially conspiracy cases in almost every single instance. the very evidence they say we shouldn't look at for purposes of the investigation is the evidence that the prosecutor has to admit at the trial in order to prove willfulness, in order to prove intent and in order to prove knowledge. so we're actually saying that in investigating people who might potentially commit the terrorist attack, we have to close our eyes to their ideology, but if we are lucky enough to indict them at some point, and we get them to trial, then we can put into evidence all the things we didn't look at when we were investigating. how crazy is that? >> briefly, this nation cannot admit everybody that would like
to come here and immigrate to america, is it important to ask whether one has an extremist ideology and ask questions how they interpret it or not? is there some constitutional protection that the united states cannot inquire to see who might be the most successful immigrant? >> i don't think there is any constitutional impediment to it. that said, during the 1960s into, i guess, the early '80s, there was a lot of statutory work that was done supportive of the proposition that we needn't be worried about ideology, that it's not a causetive trigger. it was not constitutionally necessary to do that. i think a lot was caused by the fact that the supreme court in the '60s and '70s gave expanded
first amendment protection to radical ideology which was a terrible mistake. i think made out of a cal cue lus the soviet threat had been overwrought. whatever you think about that, we are now in a threat environment where it's not a hypothetical question about whether there is an ideology that triggers mass murder attacks. we are seeing it. >> thank you. mr. chairman, thank you. i appreciate the hearing. we are seeing, a spasm i've called it, within islam experts testified that it's real. there's radical ideas leading to these kind of attacks and it's going to take a long time to see that. maybe it's incumbent on us all to be firm and defend our country, at the same time think deeply about the rate way to handle it because religion is something we all in this country
respect, freedom of religion. >> thank you, senator sessions. >> mr. chairman, could i just respond to something said earlier during this panel questioning? >> we will recognize senator durbin and he may well give you the opportunity. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i listened to senator session's questions. he is moving us to where we ought to be. mr. cohen, when you went after or your organization went after the ku klux klan, you were aware their symbol was a flaming cross? >> yes, sir. >> and that they believe somehow they were espousing the teachings of christ? >> they were purifying the race, yes. >> these race purifications ended up in hateful and violent and murd yus tactics against african-americans? >> that was the way they did business, yes. >> catholics, jews? they were a hate-filled group that used the flaming cross and their purified christianity for
justification? >> yes. >> westboro baptist church sends demonstrators to the funerals of our fallen soldiers and put up these hateful signs that say this soldier died because of sodomy, because of gay marriage. their homophobia, they believe, is part of their christian belief. i think the point that has been made over and over by three members of this panel is it is a mistake for us to then call the ku klux klan radical christians or westboro baptists radical christians. they are extreme, violent, unacceptable. it reflects on all of us who count ourselves as christians if you use a term so broad in its application. no one is arguing, mr. mccarthy, that someone who possesses a dangerous ideology, dangerous to the united states should ever be allowed to immigrate, but presumptive republican nominee
donald trump isn't making that distinction, my friends. he wants to exclude all muslim immigrants. that to me is where he has gone way beyond the needs of protecting america and into territory which i hope this country will never, ever embrace. it's interesting to me last week we had a debate on the floor of the senate on terrorism, and the debate got down to the question as to whether or not we should be weary or careful when a suspected terrorist wants to buy an assault weapon, a firearm, and many of us said let's err on the side of safety. and unfortunately only eight republicans would join senator collins, another republican, when she suggested maybe we keep the guns out of their hands until we find out whether they truly shouldn't be on the no-fly list. we couldn't carry the day. so the presumption was give them the gun, ask questions later. now we have this hearing.
instead of dealing with suspect terrorists, we are dealing with a suspected religion, according to involvement that's where i think we crossed the line. if there are those who would abuse their religious beliefs, threaten others and threaten america, use all our power to protect us, but the notion that we would call for radical christians, radical islam and such, and therefore, have the right answer to keeping america safe, i think, is fundamentally wrong. i'll say this i have plenty of disagreements with president george w. bush on a spectrum of issues, but i still marvel at the fact that after all we went through on 9/11, he would say to america, "all americans must recognize that the face of terror is not the true face of islam. islam is a faith that brings comfort to a billion people around the world. it's a faith that has made brothers and sisters of every race. it's a faith based upon love,
not hate." thank you, president george w. bush for reminding us at that terrible moment in history who the real enemies were. they weren't people of the islamic faith. they were those who had violent, extreme views and were ready to kill, to execute that like the ku klux klan, like the hat mongers of the wests boro baptist church. that president in that moment of history got it right and we've got to get it right today. we are being called on like many generations have in the past to respond to a legitimate fear of terrorism in a way consistent with our american values. and when we lapse into this notion that we are going to condemn a faith, i think we've gone way too far. miss khera, i know you wanted to say something earlier. let me ask you, do you live in a muslim neighborhood? >> no, i do not. >> do you know what a muslim
neighborhood is? >> i was scratching my head a bit when i first heard that term used. the muslim community of the united states, with few exceptions, is actually quite spread out and integrated into the broader america. >> that's my experience, too. i mean, i can show you some irish catholic parishes in chicago and some areas on the north shore where jewish populations live, but muslim population is not that large, per se, and they seem to be d dispersed. when we talk about patrolling muslim neighborhoods, i'm at a loss. what was he trying to say? what is a muslim neighborhood? >> i think you're absolutely right. senator, if i could add to your statement of acknowledging president bush and what he did and the importance really of bipartisanship. i think this issue of really pushing back against these frankly unamerican and unconstitutional proposals to
marginalize and target a group of americans based on their faith is not consistent with the constitution. it's not consistent with our values. i might add that it's not just yourself and some members on your side of the dias, but i want to acknowledge senator flake and graham who have been courageous with their words urging to tamp down this devisive rhetoric. >> let me add, thanks senator graham who is here. i called senator flake at his home on a saturday evening when he visited a mosque in arizona and thanked him. >> i sent personal thank you letters to senator flake and senator graham. >> it was such a thoughtful gesture, totally consistent with what president george w. bush reminded us. >> that was a mosque i attend. >> i thank senator flake for having the courage to do it. i yield the floor. >> senator durbin, can i add one more thing i wanted to say earlier? i want to make it clear that there have been hundreds of
imams and islamic scholars who routinely condemn terror. there are muss yim religious scholars who have taken on the narrative of isis to great peril to themselves. a number received significant death threats from isis. i cringe when i hear people saying muslims are not speaking out against the contortion of their faith for violent ends. >> thank you. >> thank you, senator durbin. senator graham. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i think this is an important hearing. i'm glad we're having it. i need to go to my own church. i haven't been to my own church in a while. is there a fight for the heart and soul of islam afoot between a few radicals and most muslims? is that a fair statement? either one of you?
>> that is my book is about the fact that this is, you know, terrorism is simply a symptom. the underbelly of it. i cringe at -- >>yes, sir. >> all right. so what about you, ma'am? >> i think there e's definitely robust discussion within the muslim community and around the world. >> don't you think it's important for america to side with those who would live in peace with us and would build a better world in the faith which is an overwhelming super majori majority. >> >> yes, absolutely. >> not only peace but those who share our values of individual rights. >> here's what i've learned to iraq and afghanistan. most people are not buying what isil is selling. the taliban, al qaeda, all things being equal, most moms and dads don't want to turn their daughters over to these nut jobs so when i hear they are all the same you need to go over there more and they are not. the bottom line is most people will be culturally different but
sort of buy into the idea that radical islam is not for them, so we need partners in the faith. now, back here at home, how many of you think we're fighting a war and not a crime? how many of you think we're at war? state of undeclared war with radical islam? >> do you feel comfortable with that? >> i think we're doing both. there's obviously a war. >> i agree. >> and there's criminal activity. >> they are at war with us. there's a difference between fighting a war and a crime and that's really important. what duo we duo when we find -- are there radical imams out there in the country that sympathize with isil and al qaeda, inside the country, inside the united states? >> i've never heard of one inside the united states. >> i believe there are imams that may condemn violence, the tactic, but i think they sympathize with the division of the world into a islam and the land of islam and the land of war so there are those who
believe war can be fought not necessarily by guns and ammunition but by civilizational jihad where they believe they can advance their ideas through an evangelism of their theopolitical mentality. >> the only reason i mentioned this is i don't want to profile the muslim -- the islamic -- the muslim -- let me tell you my experience with american muslims. young man who grew up in afghanistan, went to high school in afghanistan, graduated from high school, came i think to chicago, can't remember his american hometown, joined the army, went back to afghanistan as an interpreter, took me over to his former high school where they were having election polling wearing the uniform. his job was to guard me and the general that went with me. there were about eight or ten of us. embraced the principle. he started crying and that's my view of american muslims out there in the fight, but if you duo have a radical mosque or a radical preacher or a radical
whatever, is it okay to follow them and monitor what they duo? >> so i think -- i think there's a difference between somebody who has radical thoughts or is espousing radical thoughts and then actual violence. i think as you can certainly appreciate, senator graham, having a radical thoughts is not illegal. some would actually say it's downright american. >> i agree. but it's not downright american to be sympathetic -- see, when i first went in the air force i had to sign a form that i wasn't a member of the communist party. that in 197p. i'm sure if i said i was i would not have gotten into the air force so the enemy was the communist ideology so all i'm suggesting is that this young man who happens to be an american muslim hates the ideology as much if i duo if not more because he'd be the first victim, not me. they would kill him before me because he's in their eyes worse of a problem. what i'm trying to suggest here is that the guy who did the killing in orlando went to the same mosque as the guy who is a
suicide bomber in syria. what are the odds of that happening without something going on in that mosque and they not really know each other? >> i would like to address that. >> sure. >> as a subject matter expert and the law enforcement who took a vow to protect the american people from threat, both foreign and domestic, this icon of this organization, which is a major global level organization operating in the united states says very plainly in its logo what its intention is. in english it says assembly of muslim jurists of americans. >> you're not answering my question. what i'm trying to say is there is a current within the islamic community in the united states that conform to sharia law. what we're actually talking about aren't the tactics of radical islam or jihad. >> i got you. you're not -- who is the fbi
guy? >> i was a former fbi agent. >> what are the odds these two guys going to the same mosque and not know each other? >> i -- i have no idea what those odds are but that was something that the fbi investigated so i'm sure that that's something you can find out. >> all i'm suggesting is i don't want to -- i'm all in to partnering with the faith because you can't win the war without it. american muslims are -- there's a hero in this war, it's an american muslim who will take up arms against radical islam. if i had to create a hero for the times in which we live, it's somebody of the muslim faith who is an american citizen that will wear the american uniform and take the fight over there to these bastards, that's my perspective, but when you have centers of radical activity, i don't want us to get so politically correct, and that's the whole purpose of this hearing, that we ignore the obvious. how in the hell could it be that the guy that killed 49 people in a club in orlando who went to
the same mosque as the guy who became a suicide bomber in syria, that that there's not going on there and how did the fbi miss it? >> it's entirely reasonable to figure that, and if we can't -- if we feel like we're so hamstrung we can't investigate. >> that's the point of this hearing. have we gone too far the other way that you can't talk about the obvious? >> let me -- let me suggest this. in my case we proved that the mosque was the hub of the conspiracy, that it was used for the storage of weapons. that it was used for recruiting, for conspiratorial conversations and for plotting and they used it because they thought that that was a safe place to duo that, and if we -- if we signal and it's not just a signal, it's a fact, that we are closing our -- not just our law enforcement but our intelligence gathering and investigative eyes in what's supposed to be a war, where we actually have an authorization of military force and people in harm's way, then we're not fighting a war that we have any interest in winning.
>> having said that, i believe that the overwhelming majority of mosques in this country are not that way, but when you find a connection how duo we deal with is it t? ma'am, doctor, i want your perspective as much as anybody else. i'm trying to solve a problem. i'm trying to prevent an attack. >> senator, the problem comes to how you define radical. right now when we say violent extremism is the problem, were define radical as those who would want to take up arms against america and you have people lining up signing fatwas and religious rulings that they are nonviolent and condemn the terror but when you define radical as those who are anti-semitic, homophobic, who perpetrate conspiracy theories about american military and american policies, all of these are the underbelly of ideas. >> mr. cohen would agree with you, right? >> and our community needs a 12-step program. the reason you can be at the same mosque is there's complete denial between the connection of nonviolent islamism to violent islamism that they are going to be at the same mosque and not realize it because they are not
going to connect just like the alcoholic that needs that first step. they are in denial, and we perpetrate that denial by ignoring the verbology. >> ma'am, what would you say? >> law enforcement, if there's reasonable suspicion of criminal activity, law enforcement needs to go there and they need to conduct a full investigation. >> that's a good way to end this. >> that's all we're talking about. fighting a war, not a crime. good surveillance techniques that are within the constitutional values, and i am convinced that the purpose of this hearing, senator cruz, that you've worried that we've gone too far the other way and that's all i'm saying. thank you. >> thank you, senator graham. mr. mccarthy. in your testimony you talked about peaceful muslims here in america who worked with you and were integral in helping to prosecute the blind sheikh case. can you describe to this committee the difference between the muslim faith and islamism that embraces violent jihad.
>> i think it's -- it's hard to define the muslim faith because there are too many divergent interpretations of it. it's easy to identify what we call islamism or i prefer to call sharia supremecism which is really a radical political ideology with a religious veneer, not a religion as we understand it in the west. my impression listening to the -- to the back and forth today is that we are underestimating how serious a problem it is. i don't think it's a handful of radicals versus everyone else who is just embracing the west. i brought along a well-known classic sharia manual today that i'll supply with your -- with the committee's permission
called reliance. traveler which is an ancient authoritative manual of sharia law. i open to the page that says jihad. jihad means to war against non-muslims, and it explains where the etymology of it is drawn from. we could go through several different aspects of it, whether it's penalties for apovertyys, inequality against women, inequality against muslims and so forth. i think, mr. chairman, the reason this is relevant it's not andy mccarthy's view of what islamism is. this is a manual that in the front of it they thought it was important enough to include the endorsement of the al czar research academy, basically the sharia faculty at the seat of